Friday, July 19, 2013

got handspun?

Handspun yarn is a beautiful thing! I love spinning it and using it. I'm not one of those people that needs a project in mind before I make a yarn purchase. I'm more of a "buy yarn first, ask questions later" type person.

Many of my customers; however, want a project in mind before they make an investment in handspun yarn. This type of yarn can be expensive to some consumers and often is non-refundable. It might have unusual fibers in it that the purchaser hasn't used before. It's typically OOAK* of which there might only be one skein for sale. And, sometimes there might not be a lot of yardage.

There are numerous "one skein" knitting books available and several good books specifically geared towards handspun. Go to your public library and check them out. (Yes, I believe in and promote "checking out" not getting your checkbook out when it comes to books!)

Here is my contribution to handspun yarn projects--and this one is quick. You won't be surprised to learn that it is woven on the rigid heddle loom. I admit that I am obsessed with this loom at the moment. Some of you may have something called a knitter's loom, a simple loom, etc.

I wove this wrap on my Ashford Knitter's Loom using the 5-dent reed. It is 83 inches long (not including fringe) and 8 inches wide. Both the weft yarn (brown) and warp yarn (red and orange) are handspun.

The warp used less than 200 yards. Approximately. Sorry, I wasn't really paying attention, I just eyeballed it when I was warping. Most of my skeins in that yarn weight (worsted weight) are approximately 200-ish yards. To reduce costs, you could certainly use less expensive commercial yarn for the warp.

Now, for the best part, drumroll please...the weft used ONLY 100 YARDS of bulky weight yarn making this a perfect project for your special handspun skein.

Here is a picture of our scarecrow modeling the wrap to give you an idea of size. I still need to re-work the fringe as it is tied using loose overhand knots. I have some cool calavera-type skulls that are begging to be used and I might incorporate them into the fringe. Still thinking about that.

Before I forget to mention it, this project took approximately three hours including warping time. Rigid heddle loom projects are quick and using bulky weight yarn makes them go even quicker.

And, before you mention it, I did promise to give an update on my shibori felting project in my last post. Well, it is still in progress. It is actually off the loom and initially I thought it was toast. I almost threw it out; however, I am now reassessing it. When I have something positive to say about it, you will be the first to know.

           *OOAK = one of a kind

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